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Deal | GMKTEC KD2 15.6-inch 4K portable touchscreen with full AdobeRGB coverage now on sale for $409 USD

GMKTEC KD2 15.6-inch 4K portable touchscreen with full AdobeRGB coverage now on sale for $409 USD
GMKTEC KD2 15.6-inch 4K portable touchscreen with full AdobeRGB coverage now on sale for $409 USD
The GMK KD2 is one of the best portable monitors we've tested in terms of display quality and hinge rigidity. However, it falls short on its brightness claims while the slow black-white and gray-gray response times will sour many gamers.

(September 2, 2021: Corrected the title to say 15.6-inch instead of 14-inch as the KD2 is a 15.6-inch monitor.)

After launching the original KD1 portable monitor late last year, GMK is now ready to ship the KD2 portable monitor with significant improvements across the board. The monitor and carrying sleeve are currently on sale together for $409 USD after applying the coupon code '$90OFFKD2-NBC-BTS' on the official GMK retail store.

The manufacturer has sent us a sample for our impressions and the changes from last generation's model are immediately noticeable. The edge-to-edge glass, for example, now covers the entire front of the unit instead of only a portion while the rounded "2.5D" edges add a more modern aesthetic. Port options remain the same gen-over-gen, but weight (993 g vs. 822 g) and dimensions (354 x 222 x 14 mm vs. 321 x 208 x 12.6 cm) are actually slightly heavier and larger, respectively, due to the use of more glass and the larger bottom bezel. It's a fair tradeoff for the stronger and more rigid build of the KD2.

The full retail specifications of the KD2 can be found here and the Amazon product page here.

Pros Cons 
+ Sturdier build quality than the KD1
+ Rigid kickstand and hinges
+ Full sRGB and AdobeRGB coverage
+ native 4K resolution with IPS touchscreen
+ Can operate with no dedicated power cable
+ Easy-to-use touchscreen OSD
+ High quality and color-accurate panel after calibration
- Slightly larger and heavier than the KD1
- Mini-HDMI port instead of full-size HDMI
- Color and grayscale tweaks recommended out-of-the-box
- Slow black-white and gray-gray response times
- PWM present on brightness level under 31 percent
- Relatively weak integrated speakers
- Slight-moderate uneven backlight bleeding
- Carrying case is sold separately by default
- 60 Hz refresh rate limit
No screen protector is included in the packaging
No screen protector is included in the packaging
There are no magnets or glue for holding a folio case
There are no magnets or glue for holding a folio case
stronger build quality for a more stable foothold at all angles
stronger build quality for a more stable foothold at all angles
Matte metal surfaces are slightly roughened to better obscure fingerprints
Matte metal surfaces are slightly roughened to better obscure fingerprints
Kickstand is much more rigid than on other portable displays
Kickstand is much more rigid than on other portable displays
Kickstand opened to maximum angle (~45 degrees)
Kickstand opened to maximum angle (~45 degrees)
2x USB-C and mini-HDMI
2x USB-C and mini-HDMI
Power button, USB-C, and 3.5 mm audio jack output
Power button, USB-C, and 3.5 mm audio jack output
2.5D glass around the edges and corners of the front display
2.5D glass around the edges and corners of the front display
Stereo speakers are along the bottom edge of the unit
Stereo speakers are along the bottom edge of the unit
Onscreen settings for color adjustment, FreeSync, volume, brightness, contrast, and more
Onscreen settings for color adjustment, FreeSync, volume, brightness, contrast, and more
Lots of accessories including USB-C to USB-A cable, 2x USB-C to USB-C cable, Mini-HDMI to full-size HDMI cable, USB-A to USB-C adapter, and a 35 W USB-C AC adapter
Lots of accessories including USB-C to USB-A cable, 2x USB-C to USB-C cable, Mini-HDMI to full-size HDMI cable, USB-A to USB-C adapter, and a 35 W USB-C AC adapter
411.9
cd/m²
413.4
cd/m²
401.4
cd/m²
411.4
cd/m²
415.1
cd/m²
432.1
cd/m²
391.5
cd/m²
398.7
cd/m²
432.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 432.2 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 412 cd/m² Minimum: 26.63 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Contrast: 1153:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.93 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.4, calibrated: 1.48
ΔE Greyscale 5.6 | 0.64-98 Ø5.6
100% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
100% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
92.3% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.18
GMK KD2 Portable Monitor
15.60, 3840x2160
GMK KD1 Portable Monitor
14.00, 3840x2160
Vissles Monitor 15.6
15.60, 1920x1080
C-Force CF011S
RTK2A3B, , 15.60, 1920x1080
Auzai ME16Z01 Portable Monitor
15.60, 1920x1080
Display
-20%
-45%
-51%
-42%
Display P3 Coverage
92.3
69.6
-25%
47.33
-49%
41.08
-55%
48.53
-47%
sRGB Coverage
100
94.4
-6%
66.4
-34%
60.3
-40%
72
-28%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
100
71.1
-29%
48.6
-51%
42.44
-58%
50.2
-50%
Response Times
25%
-8%
-13%
-9%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
55.6 ?(30, 25.6)
62 ?(28.4, 33.6)
-12%
41.2 ?(22.8, 18.4)
26%
41.2 ?(20.4, 20.8)
26%
38.8 ?(20.8, 18)
30%
Response Time Black / White *
38.8 ?(22.4, 16.4)
45.6 ?(30.8, 14.8)
-18%
35.2 ?(22.4, 12.8)
9%
40.8 ?(26.8, 14)
-5%
25.2 ?(16, 9.2)
35%
PWM Frequency
2451 ?(30)
5000 ?(99)
104%
1000 ?(99)
-59%
1000 ?(99)
-59%
201.6 ?(23)
-92%
Screen
-9%
-59%
-57%
-86%
Brightness middle
415.1
325.3
-22%
248.1
-40%
205
-51%
300.7
-28%
Brightness
412
316
-23%
237
-42%
193
-53%
267
-35%
Brightness Distribution
91
82
-10%
91
0%
88
-3%
77
-15%
Black Level *
0.36
0.3
17%
0.28
22%
0.25
31%
0.66
-83%
Contrast
1153
1084
-6%
886
-23%
820
-29%
456
-60%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
5.93
4.75
20%
6.85
-16%
8.01
-35%
10.26
-73%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
8.64
8.09
6%
20.8
-141%
19.93
-131%
22.93
-165%
Colorchecker dE 2000 calibrated *
1.48
2.19
-48%
5.69
-284%
4.3
-191%
5.05
-241%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
5.6
6.2
-11%
5.8
-4%
8.3
-48%
9.5
-70%
Gamma
2.18 101%
2.31 95%
2.34 94%
2.1 105%
1.51 146%
CCT
5820 112%
6691 97%
6402 102%
6106 106%
8200 79%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65.4
42.8
38.7
45.8
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.6
65.8
59.8
71.5
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-1% / -4%
-37% / -46%
-40% / -47%
-46% / -61%

* ... smaller is better

Interestingly, the maximum brightness we're able to reach is 432 nits when HDR is disabled which affirms the manufacturer claim of 400 nits. When HDR is enabled, however, we're only able to measure a maximum of 463 nits compared to the manufacturer claim of HDR600 or 600 nits.

GMK doesn't advertise the response times of the KD2 for good reason: they're very slow to put things lightly. Users will notice a lot of ghosting when playing modern 3D games meaning we recommend 2D games for a better experience. The latest displays with 3 ms or 5 ms response times are an order of magnitude faster than what the KD2 is capable of.

Pulse-width modulation or screen flickering is present when the brightness is set to 30 percent or lower. 

Black-white response times
Black-white response times
Gray-gray response times
Gray-gray response times
PWM present at brightness levels under 31 percent
PWM present at brightness levels under 31 percent

The display will consume just over 15 W at most when the brightness is set to maximum. The difference between minimum and maximum brightness is around 8 W. If you want to the exploit the full brightness of the display, then you'll have to make sure that your power source can provide at least 20 W.

Minimum brightness from 0s to 10s and maximum brightness from 10s and up
Minimum brightness from 0s to 10s and maximum brightness from 10s and up

Color temperature is overly warm when set to the default settings. Calibrating the panel with our X-Rite colorimeter raises the color temperature from 5820 to 6715 while improving grayscale and colors significantly to deltaE levels of under 2. Solid colors strangely remain much more inaccurate against the AdobeRGB standard which suggests that additional fine-tuning via the onscreen settings menu may be required.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Surface temperatures are warmest toward the bottom since that is where the PCB resides. The hot spot near the USB power source can reach over 37 C during use.

Temperature map (front)
Temperature map (front)
Temperature map (back)
Temperature map (back)

Color space covers all of AdobeRGB compared to only 71 percent on last year's KD1. Image quality is excellent when compared to cheaper portable monitors like the Vissles or Auzai, but colors don't pop as much as they would on a high-end smartphone since the overlying glass is on the thick side.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
The overlying glass is unfortunately somewhat thick, but graininess is not an issue
The overlying glass is unfortunately somewhat thick, but graininess is not an issue
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom edge of our test unit
Moderate uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom edge of our test unit

Audio quality from the integrated speakers remain unimpressive with poorer bass and volume than most laptop speakers. Unless if these are your only option, then it would be better to stick with your laptop speakers instead.

Pink noise at maximum volume
Pink noise at maximum volume

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 08 > GMKTEC KD2 14-inch 4K portable touchscreen with full AdobeRGB coverage now on sale for $409 USD
Allen Ngo, 2021-09- 1 (Update: 2021-09- 2)